Philippines logs 1,765 new Covid-19 cases, President Duterte hopeful of brighter days

MANILA (XINHUA, BLOOMBERG) – The Philippines on Friday (Jan 1) reported 1,765 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number in the country to 475,820.

The death toll climbed to 9,248 after four more patients died from the viral disease, the Department of Health said.

In a New Year message, President Rodrigo Duterte voiced confidence that the Philippines will sail through the pandemic and see brighter days in 2021 amid the global health crisis.

“The Covid-19 pandemic may have cost us so many lives and material resources, but we also learnt so much from it.” he said.

“We realised the value of human life and our relationships with each other. We understood what it means to be a family, a community, a nation. We learnt to share and to look after the welfare of our brethren.”

Mr Duterte said 2021 is “a time for new beginnings and a time to be hopeful”.

“Now, we march on to a new year wiser, stronger and more prepared for the challenges ahead,” the 75-year-old leader said.

The Philippines has South-east Asia’s second-worst Covid-19 outbreak – after Indonesia. The country implemented one of the world’s longest lockdowns from mid-March and has gradually loosened curbs in the past six months as the economy plunged into a recession.

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